CSM has an exceptionally talented team of professors, pastors, ministry leaders, and theologians intentionally created to provide you the best experience and growth opportunities possible. Not only are these your instructors, but your mentors, ministry champions, and cheerleaders!
One of the things that sets Central School of Ministry apart is our commitment to faculty that are actively on the front-lines of ministry: our amazing faculty are sharing wisdom, knowledge, training, and tools that they are implementing in realtime in their unique ministry culture and context!
DR. JAY FORSETH
Jay Forseth has preached at more than 90 churches in The Evangelical Church. Jay graduated as a teacher from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho and as an administrator from Idaho State University before graduating from Portland Seminary at George Fox University in Oregon with a DMin in leadership.
Dr. Jay Forseth has served five colleges in the past as a professor, specializing in Biblical Stewardship, Pastoral Counseling, and Soul Care. His doctoral dissertation was on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Jay is the former athletic director and vice president at Rocky Mountain College in Montana. He pastored Columbus Evangelical Church in Montana for 15 years, was elected as Western Conference superintendent of the Evangelical Church for a four-year term, and was elected general superintendent of the Evangelical Church, serving until January 2024.
Dr. Jay has been married to Lisa for more than three decades, has two grown children, and always tries to have one bird dog. He loves all Colorado teams and bleeds Bronco orange.
Richard Palmer was named Pastor Emeritus of Reach Church in 2020 after serving as pastor of bible education and life groups for ten years. Previous to entering into his time in vocational ministry, Richard served nearly forty years in public and private higher education, most recently at the University of Texas, El Paso and Dana College, Blair Nebraska.
Dr. Palmer holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Education from Wayne State College, a Master's of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. Among his many accomplishments and accolades include being a 5-time recipient of Who's Who of America's Teachers. In addition to his musical background, Richard is known for his brilliance in systematic theology and biblical literacy.
Richard and his wife of 50+ years, Leslie, have one adult daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. In his free-time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, traveling, and sharing with others in individual and groups discipleship, walking alongside others as they grow deeper in their knowledge, better in their understanding, and more intentional in their Christian-living.
DR. RICHARD PALMER
REV. IKKI SOMA
Ikki Soma is the Lead Pastor of Cottage Grove Church in Des Moines, Iowa, where he serves the church and greater Des Moines area as a pastor, preacher, and leader.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ikki and his family made the move to Las Angeles, California when he was just 6 months old. He attended high school in Cupertino, where he played rugby. Ikki graduated from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, where he continued to play rugby and run track. He was heavily involved in youth and sports ministry in college, and sensed the call to ministry. He enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his ThM, and while a student, served as the pastoral assistant to Dr. Tony Evans at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. While at DTS, he met his wife Tara, with whom he has two daughters. After graduation, he planted a multi-ethnic church in San Antonio. Ikki has since served as Lead Pastor of City of Refuge Church in Houston, Texas, as well as Bayou City Fellowship at Spring Branch, and has been the Lead Pastor of Cottage Grove Church since 2023.
Ikki is a former team chaplain for the Houston Rockets of the NBA and has been a sought after itinerant speaker at ministry conferences and churches all across the US.
Cory Engel is an ordained itinerant elder in the Evangelical Church who holds a Bachelor’s degree from Minot State University. He is the conference superintendent of the Western Conference of Evangelical Churches as well as the planter and lead pastor of Harvest Springs Community Church in Great Falls, Montana. He has served with the National Collegiate Training Program and been a Campus Ministry director. Cory also served as the director of training for Beartooth Mountain Christian Ranch.
Cory partners with Central School of Ministry because he has dedicated his life to reach, influence, and raise up disciples who will serve the Body of Christ. He believes the future fruitfulness of the Church will be determined by the quality and the character of the next generation of leaders, and CSM will play a huge part in developing and raising up those leaders.
A former collegiate football and golf athlete, Cory loves all things sports and competition. He is a huge Broncos and Nuggets fan and regularly gets rebuked by his wife, Tosha, for yelling at the TV during games. Cory is a coffee snob and spent more time than he should pulling shots and evaluating roasts. He smokes a mean brisket but his 4 kids would rather have his Smashburgers.
REV. CORY ENGEL
REV. MARK ASHTON
Mark Ashton serves as the Lead Minister of Christ Community Church, a Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Omaha, Nebraska, with about 3,000 people in weekly attendance. Mark began at CCC on April 1, 2006, teaching in a multi-venue environment and providing leadership and direction to a staff of 50. His ministry experience includes serving as the Pastor of Spiritual Discovery at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, and as an Evangelism Specialist for InterVarsity Fellowship in Champaign, IL. Mark holds two Bachelor of Science degrees—in economics and in marketing—from the University of Illinois, and has completed graduate work at Lincoln Christian Seminary, Pillar Seminary, Grace University, and Crown College.
Mark has spoken at universities, churches, and conferences all over the United States, helping students, professors, families, and professionals discover the powerful love and truth of Jesus. He has taught leaders and led mission trips in fifteen countries on six continents.
He met his sweetheart Kelle on his second day of college and married her before graduation. They have four eclectic and phenomenal children: Caleb, Caysie, Josiah, and Haiven.
Tristan Borland is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Church. He has a Bachelor’s degree in religion from Ohio Christian University and his Master’s degree in theology from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Tristan has more than 20 years of pastoral experience serving as a lead pastor for 15-plus of those years, most recently as pastor of Pine Lakes church until 2023, when he stepped into his current role as Director of Smile Again Ministries - a retreat center serving families who have lost children. In addition to his tenure as a pastor, Tristan and his wife, Jill, are the authors of “Life After Death: The Struggle to Live After the Loss of a Child.”
Tristan loves teaching and learning together with students, especially at Central School of Ministry.
REV. TRISTAN BORLAND
REV. ANDREW ANDERSON
Andrew Anderson serves as Senior Pastor of Reach Church (Nebraska), a multi-generational church with a global reach and impact, and is the founder of Framework Coaching Network, a cohort of coaches and consultants that uniquely build into individuals and teams, from ministry to the marketplace. Andrew has been in vocational ministry since 1997 serving in various capacities including youth, college, worship, teaching, and senior pastor. In addition to his work in pastoral ministry, Andrew is an author, ministry coach and consultant, and a camp and conference speaker with better than 20 years of successful experience.
Andrew is a graduate of Oregon City High School. He went on to attend several colleges including Clackamas College, Craven College, and Clark College where he majored in Communications, and is a graduate of Pacific Evangelical School of Ministry where he successfully achieved his MMin, and has completed graduate work at Pillar Seminary, working toward an MDiv. He has been an ordained minister within the Evangelical Church since 2013.
Andrew and his wife, Stacy, have been married since 2002 and have six children, one son and
five daughters. In his leisure, he enjoys spending intentional time with his family, weight
training, hunting, fishing, and playing as well as watching a variety of sports.
Jennifer Brown has a Master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska Kearney and a Master’s degree in science from Colorado State University, along with being a graduate of the Central School of Ministry. She has education and curriculum writing experience at both the college and high school level.
Jennifer has written two Bible studies and been published by Christianity Today and MOPS, International. In addition, she spent multiple years as a sought-after women’s conference speaker and Bible teacher.
Today Jennifer serves the local church as a ministry director overseeing women’s ministry, discipleship, life groups, and adult education. She believes education is always valuable and is excited to provide a program that will further people’s calls to ministry.
She and her husband, Jim, have two grown children. When she’s not working, Jennifer loves to read or boat and travel with her family.
REV. RUSS COUWENHOVEN
Russ Couwenhoven received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, his Mdiv from Bethel Seminary and is pursuant upon a Doctor of Ministry degree at Bethel Seminary. He has been in full time pastoral ministry since 1991, and was elected Conference Superintendent in 2013.
Russ is currently the Executive Missions Director of The Evangelical Church. He is also the Superintendent of the North Central Conference of the Evangelical Church and resides in Minneapolis. He and his wife Ann have 11 children; five biological, five adopted, and one foster, and five grandchildren. He has been in pastoral ministry for 28 years and has a relentless passion for Christ to be seen and experienced as our soul sufficiency.
As part of his current ministry, Russ travels all across the globe including India, Kenya, Liberia, Dominican Republic, and more as a professor, Bible teacher, and as an itinerant speaker at various churches, conferences, camps, and learning institutions.
Steve Doolin has 15-years of successful ministry in a variety of capacities including outreach, operations & development, discipleship, first-impressions, hospitality, and compassion ministries. His time in ministry began at Element Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Steve began as a volunteer and finished, after nearly 12-years, as an associate pastor where he oversaw all outreach and was a part of the executive leadership team of a church of 1,700. Prior to his work in ministry, Steve was an energy manager for the state of Wyoming, and a Corporal for Wyoming's Department of Corrections.
Steve holds a bachelor's degree in interior design from Westwood College - Denver North and a Master of Ministry degree from Central School of Ministry. He is currently a licensed pastor and is in the process of ordination through The Evangelical Church.
Steve and his wife, Chaney, reside in Blair, Ne, and have 4-adult children and 1 teenager. Outside of ministry, Steve has a passion to put his creativity to work including intricate landscaping, drawing & painting, working with his hands on various projects, and fishing of any kind with an affinity for fly fishing.